If you feel like newspaper print keeps becoming smaller and smaller as we grow older, you’re in good company! The majority of us find ourselves struggling to read the fine print, so to speak – holding written materials at arm’s length, donning reading glasses, or grabbing a magnifying glass.
Though not everyone undergoes vision issues in aging, there are a few conditions that are more commonplace than others. It’s important for each of us to visit the eye doctor annually, whether or not any vision changes are encountered, as a prevention measure and to enable the doctor to catch some of the more serious conditions as early as possible, such as:
- Retinopathy: Retinopathy can occur in those with diabetes, which can cause a leak or blockage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye. It’s important to be aware as well that diabetes is the top cause of blindness, making it especially critical for diabetics to maintain ongoing, routine check-ups with the eye doctor, and to be meticulous in managing their disease.
- Macular Degeneration: As the name suggests, this condition occurs when the tiny macula in the eye proceeds to break down, resulting in distorted eyesight when looking straight ahead. Surgery can help in some cases, but it’s important for individuals diagnosed with macular degeneration to learn and implement tactics to best utilize their remaining peripheral vision. Macular degeneration does not lead to full blindness.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma causes elevated fluid pressure in the eye, resulting in damage to the optic nerve, and can cause blindness, particularly if left undiagnosed. Treatment choices may include surgery and/or eye drops to keep vision loss from advancing.
- Cataracts: Extremely commonplace in seniors, cataracts are the result of clouding of the lens, and can be corrected with a simple, safe, and efficient replacement of the cloudy lens with a new, clear plastic lens.
If encountering any of the following symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately:
- Sudden onset of loss of vision which may signify the occurrence of retinal detachment, a hemorrhage, stroke, or other serious concern.
- A crossed eye or double vision, which may indicate a neurological concern such as a stroke.
- Eye pain from an infection, abrasion, increased eye pressure, or other serious medical problem. When the pain comes with nausea, vomiting, headache or the appearance of halos surrounding lights, it could be because of acute glaucoma.
- Flashes of light can appear from a detaching retina.
- Sudden discharge from the eye or redness in one or both eyes occurs when the eye is infected.
Enhanced Home Care, top providers of the senior care Overland Park seniors trust, is always readily available to assist older individuals in preserving optimum eye health. We can provide transportation to doctors’ appointments, procedures, and checkups, follow any changes in eye health so that they’re addressed right away, minimize fall risks in the home for those with vision problems, and so much more.